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Political Science

Provides free and subscription resource recommendations in general and various political science subfields. Includes listings of the most widely used political science data and statistical resources.

Global Think Tanks

"Global Go To Think Tank 2020" with image of people putting together a puzzle

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. The annual Global Go To Think Tank Index ranks the world’s leading think tanks in a variety of categories. 

Other Think Tank Resources

Quick Research Tips

Academic, scholarly, and peer-reviewed books, journals, and articles are considered appropriate sources for college-level research and writing assignments. Here are a few tips when searching for books, journals, and articles:

  • Use Franklin to find books, journal articles, databases, CDs and DVDs, and anything else in the Penn Libraries collections.
  • If you are searching for an article for which you already have the title or citation, use Articles+ or use the PennText Article Finder citation tool.
  • Start your search for articles in a general database such as EBSCO MegaFILE
  • For political science-specific articles use a subject database such as Worldwide Political Science Abstracts.
  • If your assignment requires the use of scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed journal articles, use a scholarly database such as JSTOR.
  • If you are unable to locate a book or journal article in Franklin, request it through the Borrowdirect/EZBorrow & Interlibrary Loan.

Locating Books in the Penn Libraries

The Penn Libraries, including the social science collections in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, provide a wide range of print and electronic books for all areas of politics and international relations.

General Article Databases

Two major commercial database vendors—EBSCO and ProQuest—are widely used to provide e-books, political science journals, and peer-reviewed articles. Universities will usually provide access to databases from one or both vendors. Important things to know about EBSCO and ProQuest.

  • Both provide access to dozens of individual subject databases that use a single search interface.
  • Both provide a varied mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, general magazines, and newspaper resources.
  • Both are multidisciplinary, which means they cover many subject areas, including political science.

Subject Databases: Political Science

The following list provides the top subject-specific research databases for locating political science and public policy journals and articles.

Other Scholarly Databases

The following databases offer access to scholarly and peer-reviewed academic journals across most academic disciplines. Also listed are open access databases providing the latest working papers. Working papers are scholarly articles in the process of being written for submission to scholarly journals. Because working papers are not yet peer-reviewed, their quality can range widely. However, they can still provide you with a wealth of scholarly information on a topic, along with references that can lead you to other useful articles.

Core Academic Journals: Political Science

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data from approximately 12,000 journals from publishers in over 80 countries. You can use JCR to find the best journals published within specific research areas.

The following journals are listed in the JCR as the ten most cited, best-quality journals in the political science category. If you would like to review the JCR list of the top-cited political science journals in the last year, go to Journal Citation Reports and choose: Categories >  Social Sciences, General > Political Science.